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Sunday, November 06, 2005

Confessions Poll: Who Won The West Wing Debate?


This poll is limited to those who wanted the live debate between Congressman Matt Santos (Jimmy Smits) - Democrat and Senator Arnold Vinick (Alan Alda) - Republican on tonight's The West Wing.

I think both flubbed it up in several areas and both were right on target with a few of the issues.

If this is the last season it's been a good one.

The more I think about it, the more I realize if you just combined some of the positions presented you might have some decent solutions to real world problems.

To solve a very complicated illegal immigration problem could you not have increased border patrols, policies to help Mexico and Central American grow their economies to keep their citizens at home, and some type of 'Guest Worker' visa status to help bring illegals into the light a bit?

Alan Alda's character was completely correct with respect to African nations. Our aid to their nations helps with a short term problem, but it'll never allow for economic independence. Of course the economic independence will never occur until stable political structures exist in many of those countries. That point didn't make the The West Wing's script. My question is what policies are required to encourage stable, pro-democratic, pro-human rights, pro-economic growth governments in Africa (or anywhere else for that matter)?

The ammo control position held by Congressman Santos is so far off the mark I don't believe I can intelligently respond to it. Where's Denny Crane when I need him?

Does the Head Start Program fail after a few years? Was the statement by Vinick correct? After a few years do children in Head Start lose the advantage? Vinick is correct in stating not everyone is meant for college. That isn't elitist. That's the truth. A high school education is "an exam of minimal competence" to borrow a phrase I use often. A high school graduate should be able to function in our society. Naturally you need more than a high school diploma to do well, but college isn't the answer for everyone. Why design a system that forces people to go to college when they can't handle it? Promote the idea of trade schools, associates degrees, paralegal schools, the armed services, etc. There is nothing wrong with blue collar jobs, but the workers will need to adapt to changing conditions in their fields. We need to promote the understanding that learning is a live long endeavors now. Santos is correct with the 50 state laboratories idea on education: Every graduate should be able to do X. You all can figure out how you want to achieve that goal.

Sad to say we as voters tend to get the candidates we deserve.

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